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Tag: presidents with beards

Thor? Is that you?

H47-05 (Photo ID#), circa January 1972, Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham at Yale Law School in New Haven, CT. Clinton Historical Family Photograph Collection.

H47-05 (Photo ID#), circa January 1972, Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham at Yale Law School in New Haven, CT. Clinton Historical Family Photograph Collection.

It’s very rare to have an example of a recent beard, and even more rare to have a bearded President after, oh, 1890. So I was shocked when John Keller, an archivist at the Clinton Library, sent a link to this picture of President Clinton. He explains the unusual find in this guest post:

Here are two aspiring Yale law students posing for a photo in the early 1970s and looking very seventies indeed. Please admire the “Viking” beard look that this future President is sporting at Yale Law School.

You won’t be the only admirer: the First Lady cited the “Viking” look in her memoir Living History. This is the first of many photos—to say the least—in which Bill and his new friend Hillary would be featured in the coming years. But that was all in the future. It was the early seventies and this picture of law student Bill truly captured the “hairy” nature of the times.… [ Read all ]

FHF: The Beard Gap

Two beards have never competed for the office of the President. Pictured here is Rutherford Hayes, a bearded president who beat the clean-shaven Samuel Tilden (111-B-5739)

Two beards have never competed for the Presidency. Pictured here is Rutherford Hayes, a bearded President who beat the clean-shaven Samuel Tilden. (111-B-5739)




In the history of Presidential elections, there has never been a battle of the beards. Beards have challenged mustaches. Mustaches have challenged clean-shaven candidates. Clean-shaven candidates have challenged beards. But never in the history of our republic, have two bearded candidates duked it out on the campaign trail.

This is startling for many reasons. One, beards are awesome, and have experienced a sort of renaissance as of late. Two, statistically speaking, the beard is more “electable” than a baby face.

Look at the numbers. In Presidential elections, bearded candidates have only faced off (ha!) with clean-shaven candidates in five elections. In three of them—1868, 1872, and 1876—beards took the White House. That means the odds are with you if you run with a beard.

Year Victor Runner-up
1856 Clean-shaven Beards
1864 Beard Mustache
1868 Beard Clean-shaven
1872 Beard Clean-shaven
1876 Beard Clean-shaven
1880 Beard Mustache
1884 Mustache Beard
1888 Beard Mustache
1892 Mustache Beard
1908 Mustache Clean-shaven
1912 Clean-shaven Mustache
1916 Clean-shaven Beard
1944 Clean-shaven Mustache
1948 Clean-shaven Mustache



History buffs will be quick to point out that the 1876 beard win was something of a technicality. The oh-so-heavily bearded Rutherford Hayes lost the popular vote but won the electoral vote (Florida … [ Read all ]